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Page 40, THISDAY, Vol. 16, No. 5783


Tuesday, February 22, 2011



Tackling Poverty by Food, Fuel Cultivation


roducing food and energy side-by-side may offer one of the best formulas for boosting countries' food and energy security while simultaneously reducing poverty, according to a new Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report.DIhe study, "Making Integrated Food-Energy Systems (IFES) Work for People and Climate - An Overview draws on specific examples from Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as from some developed countries to show how constraints to successfully integrating production of food and energy crops can be overcome.D"Farming systems that combine food and energy crops present numerous benefits to poor rural conununities," said Alexander MUller, FAO Assistant DirectorGeneral for Natural Resources.D"For example. poor farmers can use leftovers from rice crops to produce bioenergy, or in an agroforestry system can use debris of trees used to grow crops like fruits, coconuts or coffee beans for cooking,' he explained, noting that other types of food and energy systems use byproducts from livestock for biogas productionD'With these integrated systems farmers can save money because they don't have to buy costly fossil fuel, nor chemical fertilizer if they use the slurry from biogas production. They can then use the savll.

By Crusoe Osagie with agellcy report

ings to buy necessary inputs to increase agricultural productivity, such as seeds adapted to changing climatic conditions - an important factor given that a significant increase in food production in the next decades will have to be cartied out under conditions of climate change. All this increases their resilience, hence their capacity to adapt to climate change," said MUllerDIFES are also beneficial to women as they can eliminate the need to leave their crops to go in search of firewood. Women in developing countries can also significantly lower health risks by reducing the use of traditional wood fuel and cooking devices - 1.9 million people worldwide die each year due to exposure to smoke from cooking stovesDintegrating food and energy production can also be an effective approach to mitigating climate change. especially emissions stemming from land use change. By combining food and energy production, IFES reduce the likelihood that land will be converted from food to .energy production, since one needs less land to produce food and energyDAdditionally, implementing IFES often leads to increased land and water productivity, therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions and

increasing food security. In the Democratic Republic of Congo an agre-forestry, IFES is Currently being imple. mented on a large-scale. The 100 ()()() hectare Mampu plantation, located about 140 km east of Kinsasha, combines food crops and acacia forests, enabling farmers to grow high yielding cassava and other crops at the same time that they process wood intO charcoal. Total charcoal production from the plantation currently runs from 8 ()()() to 12 000

tonnes per year, while farmers produce 10 ()()() tonnes of cassava, I 200 tonnes of maize and six tonnes of honey annually. Each farmer, using 15 hectare of land generates an income of about $9 ()()() per year ($750 per month). In compa!ison, a taxi driver in Kinshasa eams between $100 and $200 per month. In Viet Nam, an IFES progranune combines crop. livestock and fish production with the generation of "biogas" used for cooking. In addition to pro-

viding them with fuel, the pr0gramme has allowed farmers to save money by replacing chemical fertilizers with the compost generated from the production of biogas. This enabled farmers to earn at least three to five times more income compared to what they derived from growing two rice crops per year over the same area. "Promoting the advantages of IFES and improving the policy and institutional environment for such systems

should become a priority,' said Olivier Dubois, an FAO energy expert. 'FAO is well placed to coordinate these efforts by pr0viding knowledge and technical support for IFES implementation." Enhancing IFES practices will contribute to the progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including MDG I to end poverty and hunger and MDG 7 on sustainable natural resource management, FAO said.

NITOA Urges FG to Implement Fish Terminal


he Nigeria Trawler Owners Association (NTIDA) has urged the . Federal Government to implement the Lagos fish terminal it approved for association during the President Olusegun Obasanjo's administration.

Mrs Margaret Orakwusi, President of NTIDA made the call during a courtes}(, .visit to Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Alhaji Omar Sulaiman in Lagos. Orakwusi said that full implementation of the approval would increase fish and fisheries production in the country. She noted that the call was coming on the heels of the recent report credited to the Ministry of Transport that only phase lout of the two terminals would now be allocated to the association. "The association members currently operate at both phase I and phase 2 of the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal in Lagos," she said. According to her, the two phases were approved after a committee set up to look into the activities of the association submitted its report to the government.

Orakwusi said that the sector would be impaired seriously should the phase be taken away from it. She noted that the phase I was small and had no room to build the desired international dedicated fishing terminal. According to her, dedicated fishing terminal was part of the requirement give.n to the asso-

ciation before it would meet the export of fish to international market. ''The European Union atone time disqualified fish products from Nigeria to EU market and the association would not want it to repeat itself," she said Orakwusi reiterated that the sector had on many occasions been rated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the second non-oil sector that generates foreigu exchange. According to her, the sector is one of the highest employer of labour and wealth creation. Highlighting some of the benefits of the dedicated fishing terminal, she said it would be cost effective; ensure quick access to facilities and consequently reduce fish prices and information. She said that lack of dedicated terminal had resulted to the proliferation o( private jetties leading to high cost of production.

She also urged the NPA to review the new tariff on land lease to the sector, adding that the association cannot afford to pay the lOOper cent increase on land rent. The Managing Director, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Alhaji Omar Suleiman, promised to take a holistic look at the rent before reviewing it. "We know that the NTIDA is a non-oil sector and its importance to the economy cannot be underestimated," Suleiman said. . The Director, Federal Department of Fisheries Mr FrederickAdeyerni,conunended the NPA managing director for his efforts to reposition the sector.

F'inluwe, Nigeria Tourism De",,/npmelll CorporaJion, NTOC, Chief K.c.o1aJ; DG, NTOC, Chi£f Segun Runs""", and Tft1I!e Travel Marlin, Mr. Derek HOusWn oJ the Nigeria Day in WTM 2010 Mid oJ Excel ExhibiJion Hall, Lomlon.•recenlly

FAD Moves to Update Data on Gas Emission


he governments of can use to access international Norway and Germany fimding for mitigation projects have committed a comand design and implement bined total of $5 million in policies, programs and pracsupport of a Food and tices intended to reduce agriAgriculture Organisation pr0culture's GHG emissions, gramme to improve global increase the amount of carbun information on greenhouse gas sequestered on farms. emissions from agriculture and "Climate-smart" fanning more accurately assess farmpractices can increase producing's potential to mitigate globtivity and improve resilience to al wanrting. changing weather and climate The improved data acquired patterns while reducing greenby FAO's Mitigation of Climate house gas emissions. "We are change in Agriculture • extremely grateful to the gov(MlCCA) progranune will be . ernments of Norway and made available via an online Germany for supporting this global knowledge base that will work," said Alexander not only profile greenhouse gas Mueller, FAO Assistant(GHG) emissions from agriculDirector General for Natural ture but will also identify best Resources. opportunities for mitigating "The data we are working global warming through together to assemble is fimdaimproved fanrting practices. mental for the effort to shift "Data variations in existing food production to the climate assessments. as well as inforsmart model. The more information gaps, pose a real chalmation we have on emissions lenge in terms of making the from specific farming systems, most of the agriculture sector's the more effective the policies to significant potential countries will be able to put sequester atmospheric calixm," into place to encourage that said Marja-Liisa Tapiatransition," he added. Bisrrom, coordinator of the Norway's contribution to FAO MICCA Programme. the project totals around $3 Having access to improved million. Germany is contributdata will give governments, ing $2 million. development planners, farmers Agriculture accounts for and agribusinesses a tool they just around 14 percent of all

global greenhouse gas emissions, equal to 6.8 gigatonnes of carbun equivalent. At the same time, the sector has great potential to reduce its GHG emissions and sequester large amounts of carbun from the atmosphere. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has estimated that soil carbun sequestration - through improved cropland and grazing land management as well as the restoration of degraded lands --

offers the greatest potential in agriculture for climate change mitigation. Implementing policies, practices and projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture could be done at little or no cost to third world farmers, according to FAO,,In.,,. some cases it would even' increase their productivity, while also making them less vulnerable to climate-related impacts -- thereby buttressing world food security.

Reviving Agricultural and Forestry Research in DR Congo n partnership with the European Union (EU). FAO is leading efforts to help the Democratic Republic of the Congo breathe new life into agricultural and forestry research, vital to nourish an underfed population and to preserve some of its most precious resources. The Democratic Republic of the Congo. a country 81 times the size of Belgium. is incredibly rich, and not only thanks to its resouttes undergrnund. Its vast expanses of arable land and its immense forests possess unequalled potential. But the riches trickle dnwn only very sparsely to a popuIa-


tion, over 70 percent of which is undernourished. And it is not yet clear what should be done to make sure that the forests and lands are developed in such a way that they will also benefit generations to come? "All development begins with research .' says Gustave Tuka, funner Secretary General of the Ministry of Scientific Research. "Research used to be the pride of Congo," be adds, "but after a long period of lethargy, we are now just taking the fu>t steps to bring it back to life.' To illustrate the situation, he compares his country to Nigeria. which he says reportedly has more than 1200 full-time agriculturnl scientists.


Reviving Agricultural and Forestry Research in DR Congo